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Monday, January 15, 2018

10 Free Ways to Keep the Cold Out

Growing up, we lived in a very old house...not sure there was much insulation in the walls at all.  We did lot did things to keep the cold out including putting plastic sheeting on the outside of the house.  With the brutal cold that just keeps coming this winter, I thought I would share some ways you could keep the cold out without costing any money. 

1. Close the blinds even if they aren't insulated.  They will help keep the cold out better than just the windows.

2.  Hang a blanket or quilt over the windows and doors.  It may not be fashionable for company, but it will keep the cold out. We usually put a safety pin in each corner and hang from a couple nails. 
Don't want to hang blankets...

3. Roll up a bath towel and lay in the window.  A towel can insulate any cracks between the windows and the sill.

4.  Put a rolled towel in front of the door at the bottom.  Or a bean bag chair.  As a kid we always had to move something from in front of the doors on cold winter mornings.

5.  Make sure the doors are all shut tight every time you open them.  It's amazing how often a door doesn't close right, but you think it is shut especially if you have kids.

6.  Make sure all the windows are locked and the storm windows are closed.  I don't know how many times we've thought a window was closed until the north wind blows and I hear a whistle of air coming through. 

7.  Shut the vents in rooms you aren't using or close them a little and shut the door.  Redirect the warm air where you are.

8.  You sleep better when it is cold, so let the house cool down to 64°F at night.  It won't keep the cold out, but it will let your heater run a little less at night.

9. In a house that isn't well insulated, shut off bedrooms on the north of the house (if it doesn't have water pipes) and have a slumber party in the living room.  We did this often as kids.

10.  Make sure to close the vents under the house.  The vents keep mold from growing under the house when it is warm, but can let the cold air under your house.

If the sun is shining during the day, open the south facing blinds and let the sun shine in!  We have concrete and tile floors and it is amazing how well they can soak up the heat from the sun.

If all else fails, grab a blanket curl up on the couch and put something in the oven to cook low and slow like these Steak Roll Ups. 

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Flat Aggie 4-H Math

In an effort to make math more interesting for kids and to make my kids understand that math really is important, I have started a series of Farmer Math questions to go along with the Flat Aggie reports.  These are patterned after the blog Bedtime Math.  Some of the questions are easy enough for pre-schoolers and sometimes I come up with some to even challenge high school seniors.

These questions follow the report Flat Aggie Travels to Kansas to learn about 4-H.

1.  Flat Aggie saw 4-H Geology display boxes.  The boxes had 30 rocks, fossils and minerals on cards arranged in 6 rows.  How many cards were in each row?

2.  Flat Aggie saw 4-H Entomology (insect) collections.  The display box had 60 insects arranged in 12 different groups (orders).  On average, how many insects were in each group (order)?

3.  Flat Aggie saw a barn quilt in the Arts and Crafts division that measured two feet by two feet.  How many square feet was the barn quilt?

4.  In the clothing project, Flat Aggie learned about pricing an entire outfit.  He saw a nice outfit he wanted to wear to the school program.  The pants cost $22, the shirt was $10, the tie was $15, the socks cost $1, the shoes cost $30, and the belt cost $8.5.  What was the total cost of the outfit? 

5. If he wore it 20 times, what would the cost per wear be?

 1.) 5 cards  2.) 5 insects  3.) 4 square feet  4.) $86.50  5.) $4.33 

If you are a teacher or homeschooler that would like more information to go with the Flat Aggie reports, send me a message on my contact form.  Along with the report and the Farmer Math questions, we send each teacher an additional page of activities, crossword puzzles and sometimes a few hands on activities.

-A Kansas Farm Mom